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Drill sparks active-shooter panic, lockdown at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

November 27, 2018 - 3:06 pm
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(WASHINGTON) -- A drill sparked active-shooter panic and prompted a lockdown at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, Tuesday afternoon, multiple sources told ABC News.

Military police tweeted an alert about 2:15 p.m. of a possible active shooter and were searching through buildings, and calling in the Montgomery County Police to help.

A large contingent of police swarmed the hospital, as the facility's gates were closed and people were asked to shelter in place.

But just after 3 p.m. the Department of Defense confirmed that it was only a drill. A source told ABC News that the exercise was mistaken for an actual threat and initiated emergency procedures.

 

 

 



Lt. Col. Audricia Harris, a spokesman for the Department of Defense, confirmed, "It was a drill."

 

The U.S. Navy tweeted that it was an "ad hoc drill."

 

It was at least the second time this year that a drill prompted real-life panic at a U.S. military base.

On Aug. 2, a training exercise at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, caused an emergency active shooter response, prompted a lockdown, the evacuation of a hospital and led one security force member to open fire on a locked door to get it open.

Officials at Wright-Patterson AFB issued an all-clear notice roughly two hours after security forces were put on high alert, writing on Twitter, "There was no real world active shooter incident on Wright-Patterson AFB and base personnel remain safe."

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